Dowsers Meet At Lyndon State College
06/14/10 7:34AM By Charlotte Albright
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(Host) Dowsing-holding sticks that tilt downward, as if by magic, to a source of water or minerals-as an ancient art that came to America when colonists began digging wells. But dowsing tools are changing dramatically, and so are the practitioners.
VPR's Charlotte Albright attended the fiftieth anniversary convention of the American Society of Dowsers over the week-end at Lyndon State College.
(Albright) About 600 dowsers showed up on campus this week-end, toting rods and pendulums. Workshop titles ran the gamut from"Learning Basic Dowsing" to "Heartlinking with Angels." The gymnasium was chock full of vendors selling tools and services.
(Sound of vendors)
John Wayne Blassingame, of Lyndonville, discovered dowsing over thirty years ago, when he was a Navy Seabee looking for underground pipes in the Nevada. He watched a guy use two welding rods with pinpoint accuracy.
(Blassingame) "I said "gimme those, I think I can do that," and I took off across the desert. I found out I had the same sensitivity he did, so from there on it was like a bug bit me and I've never recovered since."
(Albright) Blassingame says his Y rod-a snazzy plastic red, white and blue number--has also found gold in Vermont. He's an old timer who believesdowsing should be limited to verifiable uses, like detecting valuable stuff underground. New age dowsers, though, are convinced that rods or pendulums conduct cosmic vibrations that can give yes or no answers to health questions, and even send healing energy into bodies or objects.
Leon and Suzanne Favreau say they dowse wooden furniture with beneficial vibes.
(Suzanne Favreau) "They can be attuned to your vibration; you can ask for a special healing energy to be put in if you have a health or spiritual or emotional challenge."
(Albright) Another dowser who believes in the beneficial properties of sound is MosaBasczewska, who uses her voice to create eerie harmonics. She once pricked a finger while quilting.
(Basczewska) "I immediately put it into my mouth and sucked on it and sang harmonics. (sings) Right on the cut, so it stopped bleeding and it was just a little moist, I licked it a little more and then went on."
(Albright) And pricked another finger, which she did not sing to. Unlike the first wound, which disappeared almost instantly, the second one took five days to heal. Traditional medicine takes, of course, a dim view of claims like that. But most dowser/healers shrug off skepticism.
Arvid Johnson is Operations Manager for the American Society of Dowsers, which is based in Danville Vermont, and has3,000 members world wide. He says they are always looking for ways to validate what they do.
(Johnson) "And to that extent they continue to research it and try to find ways to explain it better and make it work for people today."
(Albright) That means, Johnson says, going beyond digging for water and minerals. But he says the ethical dowser does not claim to be a medical care giver-only a source of information that a patient may or may not choose to use.
The findings of dowsing experiments are published in the Society's journal, the AmericanDowser, and shared at gatherings like this. Convention goers are given numbers, so they can use a grid to dowse for like-minded colleagues without resorting to a message board.
For VPR News, I'm Charlotte Albright, in Lyndonville.